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Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 1 Day Ago  
Wow, Sony A7 $798
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 13
Views: 322
I'm resisting. It's very tempting as a street photography camera. My Ricoh GR is dying(*). The A7 plus a pancake lens could work well, but I'm actually more tempted by the A6000. The A6000 has an even smaller body and much better AF than the first gen A7. Yeah, it's "only" APS-C but that's good enough.

(*) Why not get a GR2? Sensor dust is a recurring issue for expanding-lens compacts. I want a removable lens so I can clean the sensor as needed.
Forum: Pentax K-1 1 Day Ago  
Which lens on a budget?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 25
Views: 577
PA has a lot of interesting locations. I'm more familiar with the eastern part of the state because that's closer to home. Your state has 2 major cities and many smaller ones for street photography and architecture, industrial ruins scattered around from coal/steel/logging, rivers, mountains, and dark skies for astrophotography. Many opportunities for wildlife like elk, eagles, etc. Assuming you have access to a car and are able to travel, there are many good day or weekend trips within PA.

Would old 35mm lenses work in full frame on the K-1? Yes, any Pentax K-mount lens will work. A-series and newer support auto aperture. K-series and earlier require stop down metering. Old Ricoh lenses are K-mount but might include an extra pin on the mount that must be removed or it might get stuck on the camera.

Are there any adapters that would allow APS-C lenses to work in FF? If I understand your question, you want an optical adapter to expand the APS-C image to FF; that does not exist. Some lenses marketed as APS-C will actually cover the full FF sensor, though. There are also some amazing APS-C coverage lenses, such as the DA 15 Limited, that work great in crop (16mp) or square(24mp) mode.

If I were to start saving for a Pentax FF lens for the K-1, which would you recommend if I wanted a good all-around lens on a budget. Strongly consider the DFA 28-105. It costs $400 or less bundled with a new K-1. It's much better than a lot of old lenses, and could very well be the only lens you need for quite some time.

---------- Post added 11-23-17 at 12:37 AM ----------

P.S. The K-1 is a great camera. But so is the KP with indistinguishable image quality for most photos. IMO K-1 has the edge for wide angle while KP for telephoto, but both can do a bit of everything. You can build a system around the KP for less money than a K-1.
Forum: Pentax K-1 1 Day Ago  
Lightroom Camera Calibration Profile for K-1
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 25
Views: 2,245
I don't know if your problem is PEF, but...

DNG and PEF have the same bit depth and use lossless compression. DNG is a more common standard and has wider support by non-Pentax software; I have yet to see software that supports PEF but not DNG. I suggest always using DNG.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 1 Day Ago  
K1 teething problems; Adobe conversion and Sigma lens compatibility
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 8
Views: 322
Same quality in both formats. DNG is more common so I suggest using that even if your software did support PEF.

A long time ago, PEF used to take less space than DNG, but now both formats have lossless compression.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 1 Day Ago  
Nasty sensor accident, need cleaning / repair help
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 36
Views: 1,089
I was fast. It was like noodling (catching catfish by hand). My toilet water was fortunately non-murky.
---------- Post added 11-22-17 at 01:36 PM ----------

@splewis, apologies for the thread derail, we'll pause when you provide an update on your cleaning success.
Forum: Non-Pentax Cameras: Canon, Nikon, etc. 1 Day Ago  
Wow, Sony A7 $798
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 13
Views: 322
B&H has the original A7 on sale. The tech is several models old but still pretty good, a very inexpensive way for new people to get a full frame sensor.

Sony a7 Digital Camera ILCE7/B - B&H Photo Video
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 1 Day Ago  
Nasty sensor accident, need cleaning / repair help
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 36
Views: 1,089
Fantasizing about my toilet usage? :o
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 2 Days Ago  
Nasty sensor accident, need cleaning / repair help
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 36
Views: 1,089
While we're confessing, I stupidly dropped a non-WR camera into a toilet bowl. The camera still takes photos but one button no longer works.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 2 Days Ago  
Nasty sensor accident, need cleaning / repair help
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 36
Views: 1,089
This is an example of why I hate the legal industry. The only time I need a lawyer is to protect me from another lawyer. Maybe we should sign a contract in order to buy compressed air. :|
Forum: Welcomes and Introductions 2 Days Ago  
New K-1 Owner
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 8
Views: 244
Welcome to PF. You made a good choice with the K-1.

I also used to do deep sky before redirecting to night landscapes. I got fed up with packing 25kg of astronomy gear, driving 100km, and having to do careful polar alignment.



What lenses do you have? Do you already have preferred processing software? Since you have deep sky experience you'll quickly adapt to night landscapes.
Forum: General Talk 2 Days Ago  
Boeing airliners - have you collected the set?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 20
Views: 454
Silly, the OP asked about flying on the planes, not flying the planes. I've tried. Security chases me off the wing before takeoff ;)

Tom S. and I will be here all week. Try the veal.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 2 Days Ago  
How to improve a dull and boring cloudy photo?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 29
Views: 1,043
P.S. The OP said Paris. If the day is too cloudy for good photos, try night photography. Skies don't matter much for night cityscapes.
Forum: Digital Processing, Software, and Printing 2 Days Ago  
How to improve a dull and boring cloudy photo?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 29
Views: 1,043
Put less sky in the photo: Can be done during composition, or crop in LR later. Maybe zoom in on an architectural detail instead of showing an entire building.

Enhance cloud definition: Try the clarity slider; sometimes it works and other times it looks ugly. Play with the blue luminance slider.

HDR: Can be done with a single image and might be able to add some interest in a cloudy sky.

B&W conversion.

Sky replacement: Use layers to copy sky from a different photo. I never use this one in my photos but others have success with it.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 Days Ago  
Distortion and character
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 10
Views: 402
I agree that it's a matter of opinion. Buildings with obviously straight lines usually benefit from correction, unless the lens has enough distortion to warp the scene like with a fisheye then you can leave it. There's much more flexibility for landscapes.

Here's a scene from the DA 15 Limited where I can't tell whether I applied distortion correction or not. It was a very unusual sky. Now that I take a fresh look at the photo, I see an ugly dust spot; that's not "character" and should be fixed.
Sunset over Pueblo del Arroyo by John Speroni, on Flickr
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 3 Days Ago  
Nasty sensor accident, need cleaning / repair help
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 36
Views: 1,089
@SPLewis, Don't try any DIY solvent unless you are prepared to replace the camera. The wrong solvent can ruin the sensor cover, and too much of the correct solvent can ruin the entire camera. The mark is probably not actually plastic left behind by the nozzle - that plastic isn't very soft and doesn't leave scuffs when it touches things. Your sensor was not hot enough to melt the plastic.

The mark could just be dried propellant from the canned air. Try an actual sensor cleaning kit. Find a wet type, not just a sticky pen. Or bring it into a local camera shop who can try a wet clean.

If the wet clean doesn't work, you may have scratched the sensor cover.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 3 Days Ago  
To FA* 24/2 or not?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 48
Views: 1,398
There are many varieties of cityscapes. For shooting within a city with large buildings, I find ultra wide angle essential because a crowded city often doesn't allow zooming back with my feet. Since you already have 28mm covered, I suggest you go with 20mm or wider.

I think the DA 15 remains an option with the K-1. In APS-C crop mode you still get 16 megapixels at an equivalent 21mm. Square crop gives 24mp. You'll get amazing flare resistance, starbursts, and a compact ultrawide lens.

I wish Pentax sold a compact 20mm f4 prime to go with the K-1. They unfortunately do not. The 15-30 is a good lens but it's too large and heavy for some situations.
Forum: Pentax K-1 6 Days Ago  
Mirror Slap / Shutter Shock on K-1
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 24
Views: 1,156
I'm the OP and just remembered that I also have evidence of the issue from the August solar eclipse. I was using the K-1, Sigma 50-500 at 500mm, and a tracking mount. SR and lens OS were turned off because of the tracking. I took multiple brackets and had some sharp photos, and some obviously blurred with a ghost image. A friend with a Nikon D800 and a different lens experienced similar issues for the eclipse.

We discussed doing tests under controlled conditions but haven't had an opportunity to follow through.
Forum: Pentax K-1 11-16-2017, 01:34 PM  
Mirror Slap / Shutter Shock on K-1
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 24
Views: 1,156
It is caused by equal & opposite forces: as the mirror and shutter accelerate in one direction, the camera moves a tiny bit in the other direction. It's like a gentler version of recoil while firing a gun. Maybe not all K-1's have the vibration problem to the same degree because of subtle, random differences in shutter mechanisms.

It's only shutter speeds centered around 1/125 that show the vibration. In faster exposures the photo is finished before any movement is visible. In slower exposures the vibration phase is a smaller fraction of the entire exposure and not as noticeable.

P.S. This is not Doom. Other non-Pentax brands have similar issues. There are workarounds. I'm just trying to figure out which workaround is best for different situations.
Forum: Pentax K-1 11-16-2017, 11:10 AM  
Mirror Slap / Shutter Shock on K-1
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 24
Views: 1,156
Like some of you I find the K-1 with 28-105 highly prone to blur in the 1/125 second shutter range. It's not unexpected that a large mirror and lightweight lens might have this issue. I found general information in other threads and have a few questions:

1) I've been using Live View with Electronic Shutter (ES) and can confirm that eliminates the blur. Risk of rolling shutter is not a concern for me. Does ES cause extra noise or reduced dynamic range?

2) Does the K-1 have a way to set a microdelay (much shorter than the 2-second timer) when using OVF?

3) Has anyone sent their K-1 to Precision for this issue, and was Precision able to make any mechanical improvement?
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-15-2017, 07:17 PM  
Thinking of Making a switch away from Pentax. is it right or just gear envy?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 119
Views: 3,932
My stated context was wildlife and airshows. Airshows are always in bright light, even if cloudy. A lot of wildlife is in good light, too. Many of my 50-500 images are in the ISO 200 through 400 vicinity without SR.

I never use the 50-500 indoors. That's not what the lens is designed for.
Forum: Photographic Technique 11-15-2017, 10:17 AM  
1 portrait subject, 6 photographers.
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 3
Views: 504
The model's acting was a bigger factor than the back story given to the photographers. For example, his ex-con persona acted jumpy and didn't smile much, making it more difficult for that photographer to get a friendly result. Those weren't 6 different portraits of 1 man, it was portraits of 6 different [pretend] men.

It's like blaming the cinematographer of a Wolverine movie for making Hugh Jackman look angry ;) The acting is more important.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 11-15-2017, 10:07 AM  
Some novice questions for this month
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 11
Views: 448
Here's my attempt at answering.

Q1: Physically, what is really meant by "focal length"? for example the length from what to what? Why some longer lenses (focal) are shorter than some short lenses, e.g. the M 50mm f2 vs the DA 14mm f2.8? Why the 40mm can be so thin but the 35mm cannot?

A1: In practical terms, focal length indicates how much a lens magnifies, and what sort of angle of view you'll have. For a theoretical single-element lens, focal length equals the distance from the glass to the focal point, so a 40mm lens would be exactly 40mm in front of the sensor. In practice, camera lenses have multiple pieces of glass to control chromatic aberration, get a flat focal plane, etc. and the length of the lens varies from that theoretical length. Achieving a compact lens size requires trading off performance in other areas.

Q2: Generally, when shooting at night, say, a street, where I need a bit of DOF, assuming no tripod, is it better to go with very high ISO and low aperture, or larger aperture and lower ISO (grainy vs sharpness). I know it is subjective and dependent of the lens and camera, but what would you choose? ISO 6400 f8 or ISO 1600 f4?

A2: The only night situation that I would shoot without a tripod is street photography. I might use ISO 6400 f8 if I wanted foreground and background to both be sharp (and accept the extra noise), or ISO 1600 f4 if I wanted to isolate the foreground and let the background be blurry.

Q3: With today capability of sharpening tools such as Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, is sharpness still that important when deciding between 2 lenses?

A3: Yes. It depends on your photographic style and how large you want to display/print your photos. A very sharp lens also allows you to crop the photo to magnify a small part of the scene. It is difficult to sharpen or crop a blurry photo. IMO sharpness is most important for photos of the night sky (stars should be in focus across the frame which requires a flat field instead of just center sharpness), small birds (cropping likely to be needed), and macro.

Once a lens is sharp enough, and that's subjective with each photographer, other lens qualities become more important. The Pentax DA 15 Limited is a good example. It's arguably Pentax' most distinctive lens. It's sharp enough for me but nit tack-sharp if you pixel peep. What do I get in exchange for the lack of perfect sharpness?: legendary flare resistance, contrast, and a very compact size.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-15-2017, 09:35 AM  
First experience cactus v6ii & Pentax
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 15
Views: 739
There's another recent thread where someone reported a problem with K-1 and Metz. Try searching for that thread to see if it's relevant to your problem.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 11-15-2017, 12:37 AM  
Thinking of Making a switch away from Pentax. is it right or just gear envy?
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 119
Views: 3,932
I use my 50-500 handheld, and I'm not a bodybuilder. IMO it's a manageable weight for wildlife and airshows. The Sigma 150-500 weighs a fraction less than my 50-500.

To the OP, consider the 150-500 if you are most interested in taking photos of things very far away, or small things at medium distance. The Pentax 60-250 is lighter and wider aperture which can help in dim light or if you want thinner depth, but you sacrifice magnification in return.

In other words, for birding in good light I would favor the Sigma 150-500.
For indoor or night sports, I would favor the Pentax 60-250, assuming you can get reasonably close to the playing field. The 60-250 is also more of a general purpose lens if you want to do portraits.

Birding in dim light, or dim sports when you are sitting way back: Neither lens is ideal. Those are very challenging shooting conditions. That's why some people will pay $5K+ USD for a 500mm f/4. I'm not saying that to discourage you, just giving reasonable expectations. You might be able to get good results with the Sigma or the Pentax or you might not.
Forum: General Talk 11-14-2017, 07:01 AM  
Three things I learned today
Posted By DeadJohn
Replies: 17
Views: 502
Sorry you lost money. Do you know if that regulation only applies to their national postal service, or are private shippers included? If the latter, I wonder how stores get their camera stock.
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